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The Place Where Reformed Theology and Life Hang Out and Eat A Burger

Gentle Reformation bloggers, Barry York, Kyle Borg and Austin Brown, are excited to present a new podcast, 3GT. Three Guys Theologizing.

It’s quite simple, really. We want to bring you a show that blends the interesting and humorous with the distinctly theological.

In a word, we want to be substantively entertaining. Well, that’s two words, but you get the idea.

In order to accomplish this feat, a professor, a pastor and a mailman have been thrown together, microphones in hand, ready to talk about everything from the supremely mundane to the uniquely bizarre. Think of us having Calvin’s Institutes open with a baseball cap on or discussing Jonathan Edwards while eating a burger.

This is the place where theology bumps squarely into everyday life.

Just to give you an idea of what we talk about, in the first episode we discussed the horn-like shingle that popped out on one of our foreheads, we told stories of being attacked by frothy mouthed dogs (one was a pit bull!), we explored the joys and terrors of ordination to the pastorate (think examination), and a fair bit of time was spent talking about small town living with an emphasis upon Kyle’s dog, Huckleberry, who has become something of […]

Beware the Me Monster!

We all know a few Me Monsters. And if we’re honest, we’ll do just about anything to avoid getting caught by one at Wal-Mart- even abandon carts or children to slip down a side aisle. Commando crawling isn’t out of the question.

But anyway, I kind of feel bad for Me Monsters. They’re usually nice people. It’s just that they can’t stop talking about some particular point of interest. Forty five minutes later you’re still nodding, standing there, waiting for that small crack of a moment to initiate your departure. But “Oh, wait… I missed it! No! I missed! They’ve turned a corner to a new topic!!!”

I can’t help but think that Me Monsters are ultra lonely or neglected somehow. But then again maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s just selfishness? But could it really be the case that they simply don’t care about the lives of others?

Surely not. Then again…

A Little Bit of Everything

• Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist, John Lennox, recently gave an encouraging and enjoyable talk on Daniel. He expanded upon the theme of faithfulness, challenging us to, as his title suggests, go against the flow. A Q and A session at the end brings the total listening time to 1:10:20.

• There’s an old saying, “When I went to school, I had to walk uphill… both ways… through four feet of snow!” Well, in the fascinating documentary, On The Way To School, that impossibility nearly becomes reality. Watch as four different groups of kids embark on their (almost) daily trek across harsh but beautiful landscapes to school.

This one can and should be watched with the entire family.

Here’s the trailer.

• The “already-not-yet” nature of justification has been the subject of some interest to me over the years. Tucked away in his massive tome, A New Testament Biblical Theology, G.K. Beale offers a helpful presentation on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, along with a careful consideration of the eschatological dimensions of justification. You can read more in the chapter entitled, The Inaugurated Latter-Day Justification. That will require you to of course pick up his book, which you can do here.

 

Rainbow Colored Questions With Replies

You may have noticed a recent article by Kevin DeYoung. It was entitled, “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags.”

The questions were both succinct and well-framed. Answering them honestly forces one to grapple with fundamental issues.

Following on the heels of DeYoung’s article, well known advocate of gay marriage, Matthew Vines, posed his own 40 question list. His were likewise meant to catch the unthinking off guard.

Given the colossal import of the subject, Christians ought to answer his questions. See how you would handle them. Discuss it as a family. The times demand it.

As one might very well imagine, a number of different Christians have replied. Two noteworthy responses have come from the pens of James White and Douglas Wilson. They deserve attention.

To stress again, I’d encourage you in particular, fathers, to sit down with your family, discuss the questions, wrestle with the replies and help prepare both yourself and your loved ones for the inevitable, namely, that moment when you will be asked a straightforward question about sexual ethics.

Timely Remarks from an Old Voice

Cornelius Van Til, an influential Reformed thinker in the 20th century, penned this insightful words:

“Here then are the marks of the natural man in his attitude toward the interpretation of the facts (events) of the world:

(1) He thinks of himself as the ultimate judge of  what can or cannot be.  He will not allow any authority to stand above him revealing to him what may or may not have happened in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.

(2) This assertion or assumption of autonomy on the part of man makes a covert, if not an overt, assertion about the nature of God.  God (it is assumed if not asserted) cannot be of such a nature as to control any and all phenomena.

(3) These two assertions or assumptions imply a third: that man’s thought is, in the final analysis, absolutely original.  Whatever his ultimate environment may be, the area of interpretation that man makes for himself will be true for him because his thought is in effect legislative with respect to that environment.

(4) The facts of man’s environment are not created or controlled by the providence […]

An Accuser’s Mouth Shut

When a man criticizes and complains about a subject for a very long time, claiming to possess special insight into a matter and endeavors with great energy to prove his case, but is later shown to be woefully incorrect, he is made to look like a fool. His reputation is marred. He may sputter and back peddle with great emphasis, but sensible onlookers recognize the man’s error for what it is and pay little attention to his excuses. The amount of time and energy dedicated to such criticisms, as well as the degree of passion employed, will inevitably heighten the embarrassment. In other words, if a man dedicates the entirety of his life to a subject, and argues vociferously against a certain view, his error will more greatly impugn his reputation.

In the case of Satan, he has argued with unparalleled passion against God’s righteousness, urging that God unjustly overlooks sin. As far as time is concerned, his complaint has spanned the ages. Countless centuries have rolled by with him complaining in the background. So in terms of degree and duration, Satan’s accusations against God and His people have been unequaled.

Consider the following by way of reminder. When King David committed […]

Some Audio Picks

A few audio picks for your listening pleasure:

• Christ the Center recently invited Dr. David Graves on the show to discuss the book of Leviticus. What a fantastic discussion it proved to be! If you would like some help thinking about the structure of Leviticus, or if you’re looking to chew on some tasty insights (which who isn’t, right?), this is the show for you.

• Dr. Prutow and Dr. Gordon recently met to debate the subject of exclusive Psalmody. Actually, the word debate is far too strong a term here. It was more like a friendly discussion; a good example of how to disagree in a gentlemanly way.

• By way of reminder, I’d like to encourage our readers to stay on top of The Briefing, a daily (and short) podcast detailing the latest events in the news. Al Mohler is the man behind the microphone, and he brings careful Christian analysis to the issue. Well worth your attention.

The Death of a Neighbor

I’m told that he ended his life by sitting in a running car in a closed garage.

My mind can’t help but picture the scene. I see him sitting there with a blank stare, a cigarette in hand, smoking one more time. The radio isn’t on. The space is dark.

A man who had been my neighbor for nearly six years recently committed suicide. A co-worker informed me of his death. At first, I didn’t know who he was talking about. He just described cop cars speeding to a particular house. But as he continued to describe various details surrounding the man’s life, I suddenly asked, “Was his name Joel?” “Yes. It was Joel,” came the reply. I sighed deeply and then said, “He used to be my neighbor.”

An Idea for Family Worship

Lately, I’ve been taking different podcast episodes and chopping them up into bite-sized portions for family worship. We listen for 10-15 minutes and discuss the subject matter, scrutinizing the worldview through a Christian lens. While it isn’t a bible study, per se, I think there is value in introducing teenagers to the various streams of secular thought influencing culture.

Here are a few that might be of interest to you:

• Point of Inquiry: Peter Singer: Maximizing Morality with Reason

• Unbelievable? Does Scripture Forbid Same-Sex Relationships? Robert Gagnon vs Jayne Ozanne

• Evan May, pastor at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans, has given us an excellent presentation on the problem of evil. It will provide a good framework for further discussion. This is more advanced, and so it should only be used with older children.